2008-03-08

Black People Hate Me

Black people hate me. I grew up thinking that. I was reliving flashbacks of my school days over at C1's blog.I talked too white, listened to white music, acted white, dressed white. I was too white for black kids, too black for white kids. I won't say growing up in a predominantly white setting I never felt rejection from white kids, I did, but the black kids were way more vocal about it. Until 5th grade I had shared a class with exactly two other black kids at the most. They were like me, aware they were black, but not aware of how to act black. My move to Paris, TX in the 5th grade was when I realized black kids hated me. It started with LaShonna and RoShonda in my 5th grade class. They told me I thought I was better than them, that I was stuck up, and that I wanted to be white. LaShonna and Roshonda would talk behind my back. Taj, Taurus, and Jose were mean to me because LaShonna and Roshonda were mean to me. This followed me all through middle school. All the black kids hated me, I did not have one single black friend. I had a hispanic friend, an asian friend, but no black friends. My friends at that time were virtually all white.

We eventually moved from Paris, TX to the Dallas area. I remember entering the 9th grade with relief that they weren't enough black kids in the whole school to form a clique. There were a total, including me of 8 black kids from grades 9-12 at my school. I went unscathed for the most part when it came to my blackness and expectations of blackness. I got the "you don't sound black" questions from white kids, "let me tell you this funny n*gger joke, no offense", or "wow your house is nice" comments from their parents when they realized I didn't live in the ghetto or in the projects.

Sophomore year came around and the freshman class had 8 black students, but junior year the school was literally 5% black, it had 30 black students, only 6 in my class, I would graduate with five other black kids senior year. The black girls in the freshman class hated me. My mother was their teacher in middle school, they already knew my name before I knew theirs. One girl, I can't even remember her name tried to fight me. She wanted to fight me because her man, one of the black guys in my grade hit on me. I didn't even really like him, he was just really nice and I entertained the idea. From there the taunts came. I was too good for them, I didn't know how to speak (I was incredibly shy in high school and known as a weirdo, I hung out with what we called the new wavers at the time, that would be changed to goth for the younger kids later on). I remember for weeks there were three black girls who would sing the Oreo Cookie song every time I walked by them. I was literally taunted by these kids from morning until afternoon. My senior year, three weeks before graduation, another black girl wanted to fight me. Ironically over a white boy she didn't even realize was gay, we were strictly friends, and he was strictly in the closet, it was no one's business what his sexual orientation was. I think I knew he was gay before he did. Needless to say I refused to fight her, I was all about graduating.

Through all this I didn't get much support from my parents, they thought I acted too white as well, and told me as such.

Between high school and college, I became a bit militant, started listening to hip hop (KRS-1, Public Enemy, Tribe Called Quest), reading Alice Walker, and decided I was going to try to hang out with black people. In college I attempted to and did for a while, but mostly guys, black girls on the other hand, not so friendly too me. I was once told I thought I was better than someone because I had hair past my shoulders, as if this look could not be accomplished with weave. To this day, I think my apprehension towards befriending women is due to the reactions from these black women in college. Obviously when I was in college I started dating my husband, my pro-blackness was short lived.

Even in the workforce I worked as a claims manager, and I had black women who didn't like me or even assumed I wouldn't like them because they thought I acted white. I had one girl assume I listened to Britney Spears (as if), she was in shock I knew who Three 6 Mafia was, and she decided that was I ok to hang with because I was somewhat aware. When some realized I was married to a white man, that sealed the deal for them I must have thought I was white to not only marry a white man, but dare to have a wedding picture of us together on my desk.

Needless to say as I have gotten older I have accumulated friends of all races, and ironically most of them are black women like me. The rejects who were too nerdy, too white, who think they are too good. The sad thing is growing up the taunts made me feel like I wasn't good at all. I grew up not belonging anywhere, I would have been more than happy to fit in where I could.